Patient and physician factors predict patients' comprehension of health information

Petra Lukoschek, Melissa Fazzari, Paul Marantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


While patients frequently do not comprehend health information, little is known about patient and physician factors that influence lack of comprehension. To assess effectiveness of health information exchange, 19 physicians and 145 patients were given post-encounter questionnaires to evaluate the preceding visit. We analyzed differences in beliefs between patients who comprehended health information and patients who did not, and whether physicians' attitudes and self-assessment of their educational abilities influenced this comprehension. Patients with insufficient comprehension were more likely to have schooling below college and cited language as a barrier. Physicians who believed health information delivery to be important had fewer patients with comprehension difficulties, while physicians who assessed themselves as very effective educators had significantly more patients with lack of comprehension, compared with physicians who did not feel as effective. Patients' comprehension of health information was associated not only with patient factors but also with physicians' attitude and self-assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Attitudes
  • Comprehension
  • Health information exchange
  • Patient-physician communication
  • Self-assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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